SOLD OUT! The Wallows & Penelope Isles Westcott Theater

Photos and Review: Chris Besaw

It’s late February in Syracuse and naturally it is cold and snowy. That didn’t stop fans from piling into the Westcott theater to see the sold-out Wallows show.  The Wallows who are currently on tour for their debut album, Nothing Happens, brought along their touring mates Penelope Isles hailing all the way from the United Kingdom.

The Wallows consisting of Braeden Lemasters (vocal, guitar), Dylan Minnette (vocals, guitar), and Cole Preston (drums), have been best friends since the age of 11. The three disclosed that they have spent much of their lives obsessing over music together, so it really is not surprising that they decided to get together and make music of their own. Their debut album Nothing Happens amassed 5.3 million views in its first week alone streaming! The album is a reflection of the band’s depiction of the chaos and raw emotions of adolescence.

To start the evening off, Penelope Isles played a great mix of energetic and psychedelic fuzz music. Hailing from Brighton, in the United Kingdom, the band, consisting of siblings Jack and Lily Wolter, Becky Redford and Jack Sowton kicked things off with the very melodic and groove intense “Chlorine” off their album Until the Tide Creeps In. I had no idea what to expect from this band but after seeing them, I would say that they are reminiscent of Radiohead and Deerhunter. They played crowd pleasing tracks, “Round,” “Leipzig” and ended with their most notable tune, “Gnarbone.” I enjoyed their set and plan to keep an eye on them in the future.

The stage goes dark, you could feel the excitement and anticipation fill the SOLD-OUT Westcott Theater as eager fans wait for the Wallows to take the stage. A single light softly illuminates the kick drum and the intro is cued, one by one the band file onstage and jump right into the energetic and catchy riff “Sidelines.” I was blown away by the energy from both the band and the crowd. Band members Dylan Minette and Braeden Masters have definitely mastered the art of connecting with their fans, from hi-fives to getting right in with the fans, I could tell they genuinely love what they do.

Some of the songs that I really enjoyed included, “Remember When” and for those who know how much I love horror movies, Braeden performed a solo version of their song “1980’s Horror Film.” It was perfect! A few songs in, Dylan Minette paused to ask the fans, “Are you all warmed up? Good! This next song is called Pictures of Girls.” The fans went nuts. The whole place was moving and singing along. The band had a lot of elements of the Cure and The Strokes. Unfortunately, the evening had to come to an end and the Wallows finished off with their breakout hit, “Scrawny.”

It was an incredible evening of music from both bands. I strongly suggest seeing them if you have the chance. Please check out photo highlights from the show.


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